Award-winning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman speaks at the New York Society for Ethical Culture on June 13th, 2006 at an event titled "The New Class War in America."
Robert B. Livingston
August 23, 2007
America: again a land of extremes
The thoughtful economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman does not really describe a class war in this speech. (One wonders, could one be coming?)
Instead he describes a coup d'etat by a small elite of wealthy individuals in America who were able to establish a new Guilded Age after a brief interregnum of relative equality and prosperity.
He describes the period of middle class ascendency (roughly 1935-1973) as having begun in a short period of time due to changing attitudes, strong-willed political leadership, and unions. He does not really describe why that period came to a halt-- save to suggest that the moral climate was also changing with people become nastier and some more likely to be rewarded for their greed.
Krugman makes a plea for a revitalization of institutions to check greed in the United States-- and tells his audience, "We need a new FDR. If you see him, let me know."